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Sports Injuries

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Sports Injuries

Sports are more dangerous than many people realize.

Athletes face a high risk of being hurt at some point, no matter if they participate in a contact sport like football or otherwise. 

Most sports injuries are mild soft tissue injuries that heal on their own. However, many athletes suffer career-ending or disabling injuries every year.

What Are Sports Injuries?

Sports injuries may be acute or sudden, such as a concussion. They can also be chronic and develop over time, usually due to overuse or repetitive stress. Some sports have a higher risk of injury than others, but any sport or recreational activity can result in serious injury.

Types of Sport Injuries

Sports injuries are usually caused by overuse or repetitive stress, direct impact, or hyperextension. Below are the most common types of injuries that affect athletes.

Muscle Injuries

These soft tissue injuries are the most common sports injuries. A muscle injury can be the result of overuse or trauma. The three main types are:

  • Strains, which involve stretching or tearing a muscle
  • Contusions or bruising, which is usually caused by blunt trauma that damages muscle fibers, blood vessels, and/or connective tissue
  • Lacerations or cuts

Contusions and strains alone account for more than 90% of muscle injuries in athletes.

Strains often affect the hamstrings, elbows, hands, forearms, and lower back. Endurance sports and contact sports both have a high risk of muscle strains.

One of the most common muscle injuries is a torn rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder. Trauma-related tears are common in collision sports like lacrosse and football. It can also be caused by overuse in overhead sports like baseball, swimming, and basketball.

Tendon and Ligament Injuries

Sprains are injuries to ligaments, the tough bands connecting bones in a joint. Strains are injuries to muscles or tendons, the tissues that connect muscles to bones. Both injuries typically result from overstretching or tearing.

Serious tendon and ligament tears may take months to heal and require surgery. Certain sports have a higher risk of ligament injury like football, soccer, and gymnastics. Specific ligament injuries may be more likely in female athletes than male athletes such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

A torn ligament is a very common sports-related knee injury. The ACL is the most common knee ligament injury, occurring in about one in 3,500 people. The other three knee ligaments prone to injury are the PCL, LCL, and MCL.

Cartilage Injuries

Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue that absorbs shock and protects bones and joints. Cartilage can be damaged by sudden trauma like turning the knee too fast or sudden impact. It also deteriorates with age and becomes more vulnerable to damage.

There are three types of cartilage. Articular cartilage is the type found between joints and it’s the most prone to injury. Fibrocartilage is the strongest type and it’s found in ligaments and joint capsules.

The knee is the most common site for cartilage injuries, especially in sports like basketball, skiing, running, football, and soccer. One common knee cartilage injury is a torn meniscus, which results from forceful twisting or rotation of the knee or a sudden stop and turn.


A fracture is a break in a bone that can occur from a single traumatic event or from repetitive stress over time. Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone often seen in athletes participating in running or jumping activities.


A dislocation happens when the end of a bone is forced out of its normal position in a joint. This can severely damage the surrounding ligaments and tendons, often requiring medical intervention to realign.

Brain Injuries

A hard fall or impact while playing sports can lead to a traumatic brain injury. The most common type of brain injury is a concussion. It’s estimated that 5-10% of athletes experience a concussion every season, although most go undiagnosed.

Spinal Cord Injuries

One of the most severe types of sports injury is a spinal cord injury (SCI) which causes loss of sensation, function, and mobility below the point of injury. Sports cause about 9% of all spinal cord injuries in the U.S.

Sports with the highest risk of catastrophic injury from an SCI include diving, skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, football, wrestling, rugby, cheerleading, and horseback riding.

What Are The Long-Term Consequences of a Sports Injury?

A sports injury can lead to a range of chronic or long-term issues, such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Reduced mobility
  • Arthritis
  • Permanent paralysis
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Depression, a lost sense of purpose, and other psychological effects
  • Career loss

Research indicates that 14% to 32% of competitive athletes must retire early after suffering a career-ending injury. These injuries do not need to be catastrophic; even torn ligaments may end a career if they do not heal as strongly as they were before.

What Causes Sports Injuries?

Sports injuries can be divided into four broad categories:

  • Repetitive use or overuse injuries
  • Hyperextension injuries
  • Blunt force injuries
  • Penetrating injuries

Athletes may be at a higher risk of an injury due to a previous injury, anatomical anomalies, or their physical condition. Improper techniques, overtraining, and insufficient warm-ups can also contribute to injuries.

Sometimes, sports injuries are caused by defective sporting equipment or even dangerous facility conditions. In these cases, manufacturers, sports organizations, leagues, property owners, event organizers, and other parties may be liable for damages. Sadly, even intentional misconduct or negligent coaching can seriously harm an athlete.

What Is My Sports Injury Case Worth?

Every personal injury case is unique. To determine the value of a sports injury case, a personal injury lawyer will consider the following:

  • The severity and type of injury
  • Age at the time of the accident
  • Effect on your ability to work or return to professional sports
  • How your injury impacts your daily life and independence
  • Total financial damages
  • Circumstances of your accident
  • Insurance coverage available
  • Amount of proof or documentation

Injury claims involving sports injuries are notoriously complex to value and prove. The best way to understand what your case may be worth is to consult with an experienced attorney who can evaluate the details of your case.

What Compensation Can I Recover For My Sports Injury In Miami, Florida?

A successful claim involving a sports injury allows you to recover compensation from the liable parties. This includes money for your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to financial losses you suffered. Non-economic damages include psychological and emotional losses with no intrinsic financial value.

You may be entitled to compensation for:

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you build a claim for the full value of the losses you have suffered.

How Long Do I Have To File a Sports Injury Lawsuit in Florida?

You have a limited amount of time to bring a personal injury lawsuit after a sports injury. The statute of limitations in Florida is just two years from the date of your injury. However, there are exceptions that can change the time limit for some cases; contact a lawyer as soon as possible to get help.

Contact Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Have you or your child suffered a serious sports injury? You may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. Liability for sports injuries is complex, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can help.

Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you hold the at-fault parties accountable and recover the compensation you need. Contact our law office for a free consultation with a Miami personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.